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Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 04, 2016 12:45PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

I meet my neighbors, from the rental property below me. One man and two women, vacationing together. Unrelated, they say. I allow myself a second and a half to assess this statement, before continuing the conversation. The younger woman looks at my face, and then her gaze moves down and stops at my diaphragm. I mentally follow her gaze, thinking that perhaps she is studying a logo on my t-shirt. Then I realize that I wear a plain white t-shirt with no ornamentation or insignia of any kind, and that she is, in fact, studying me. The diaphragm is where the essence of one's being is located.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2016 01:14PM by wanderer.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 04, 2016 01:03PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

In the shade of the palm trees, near the beaches, you can find West Indians who would be classified as "delinquent youth" in the continental United States. These guys are neither working nor vacationing. They just seem to be hanging out in the groups of 4 or 5, doing nothing in particular. Compared to their peers in STX, they look harmless, almost docile. When you pass by, they would greet you with a nod or a wave of a hand.

It was different on STX. Over there on STX, they act as if to communicate a message: "This island belongs to us. We own it. Go swim, and then go back to your united states."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2016 01:08PM by wanderer.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 04, 2016 09:26PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596



Meet Anegada lobster. This thing was a bit too chewy for me. I am spoiled by Alaskan crab legs. They are heavenly.

Sometimes I feel guilt about eating magnificent animals. The more magnificent the animal is, the greater the guilt. That's why humans don't eat other humans -- the guilt would be too overwhelming.

If you observe people at the restaurant tables, you'll see that every table has a table leader. The table leader speaks twice as loud as everyone else at the table, three times as often, and sometimes decides what the others should order.

There is a group of eight at the table next to mine. They look like mid-westerners. The table leader is a stocky fellow, moderately drunk. He decides to open the conversation with a racial joke. The gist of the joke is that he was trained to deliver a baby, using a mannequin. The mannequin happened to be black. So, now he has experience in delivering black heroin babies. End of joke.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 05, 2016 02:37PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 4.

A self-produced advertisement for the Mexican beer industry:




Busy beach (the 4th beach that I visited so far), mostly European vacationers:




Kids (I don't know why they are called that, as they don't resemble people):

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 06, 2016 02:27PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 5.



I am back at my "home" beach. There is a sound that attracts my attention. I come closer. There are fairly large black stones on the beach, and the force of the incoming wave moves them up, easily. The stones roll and collide, and the sound of collisions comes from under water, distorted, transformed by sound propagation in the water. Then the wave retreats, and the stones roll back into the sea, forced by gravity. It looks like the Caribbean sea is playing dice.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 06, 2016 02:31PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596



Locally prepared food, sold at the road stand. Barbecue chicken, rice and beans, pork chops, and ... beef pirogi?

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

East Ender
February 07, 2016 12:55PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 4,846

While you are on Tortola, you should do research on the sound "v" as in vegetables and report back how they pronounce it.

You cannot lump all West Indians together in their speech patterns. wink

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 07, 2016 01:19PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Quote
East Ender
While you are on Tortola, you should do research on the sound "v" as in vegetables and report back how they pronounce it.

I didn't notice any abnormalities with respect to West Indian pronunciation of "v". I am going to ask them to recite the "vegetables in the vase -- divine view" phrase, and I'll listen closely.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 07, 2016 08:29PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 7.



At 5pm on Sunday, the Smuggler's Cove beach is almost empty. It's peaceful here. The sea is still. I walk. There is a dude walking towards me. His black skin is smooth and radiant. I say, "Good evening". He smiles broadly. I suddenly feel the urge to give him a high five, in celebration of the natural beauty, and in celebration of our presence here.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 07, 2016 08:34PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596



The ribs at D'Coalpot. Stars above. Light breeze. Painkiller cocktail.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 08, 2016 01:10PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 8.

The chicken and the sea:

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 08, 2016 01:51PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

I am back to my home beach. The surfers are there, in the water, idling, waiting for waves. Sitting on their surfboards, they look like ducks.

The sea never repeats its motions. It's always different, every time the wave hits the beach. It forms new patterns, painting wet on the sand. When the wave crushes, turbulence occurs. The color of turbulence is white.

Observing the turbulence evokes theological thoughts. Since God is omnipresent and omnipotent, does it mean that he controls the speed and direction of every water particle?

My answer to this question is "No". One thing rarely mentioned in theological debates is that omnipresence and omnipotence consumes enormous amounts of energy. The clue is found in the Genesis, where it's mentioned that God was so tired after 6 days of work, that he had to rest on the 7th day.

God has only two hands, and while they have long reach, it would simply be too much work to micro-manage the Universe on a day to day basis. To solve this problem, God came up with something very clever: he gave things free will. The free will is not a reward or a gift, but is a way to automate the maintenance of the Universe.

As such, God can be compared to a conductor of big orchestra. The musicians are given the script, but they have certain flexibility to maneuver around it. Some of them may even play B-flat instead of A, or come up with an unexpected fortissimo or a prolonged vibrato. When they play all together, it never sounds exactly the same as before.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 08, 2016 06:01PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

There are no supermarkets in West Tortola. There are just small marts scattered around. I had to go to "town", as they called it here. Road Town is the capital of BVI. It's busy, commercial, and trafficy.

The roads on Tortola are in better shape, compared to STX and STJ, but still a far cry from the continental roads. They are narrow, with very steep curves, no sidewalks, and frequent speed bumps. Cars stop in the middle of the road to load/unload passengers. You share the road with chickens, goats, dogs, and pedestrians. Drivers honk non-stop. The fat yellow line separating the road traffic, a sacred thing in the continental United States, is violated constantly.

The Rite Way supermarket in Road Town is modern, big, clean, and is operated efficiently. I found what I was looking for: Gruyere cheese and Starbucks coffee. What else does a man need?

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 09, 2016 06:16PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 9.

There are 600,000 companies in British Virgin Islands. Yes, six hundred thousand. The combined area of all the BVI is population of British Virgin Islands is 59 square miles. So, there are 10,000 companies per every square mile. How can it be?

The answer is tricky. All of these 600,000 companies are registered in BVI, but they are not really here. What's at play here is a remarkable British Virgin Islands International Business Companies Ordinance, superceded with the BVI Business Companies Act, which lets you register/incorporate in BVI and have the following benefits:

-- exemption from income tax, dividends tax, interest tax, and all capital gains tax
-- no obligation to report any financial transactions or financial statements
-- no obligation to report any profits or losses
-- company owners and directors do not have to be BVI residents
-- the company can consist of 1 person
-- the names of the owners and directors are not in the public record
-- no red tape: you can incorporate in 3 days

Essentially, this amounts to absolutely no regulation, and absolutely no taxation. Wow!
More on this topic later.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 09, 2016 08:29PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

There are some people whom you can see (or hear) frequently on St Croix, USVI. Those are:
-- homeless people
-- mentally disturbed people
-- people who discharge their firearms in the air after 10 pm

It is peculiar that none of these people can be found in BVI. Which economic policies or social measures made the difference? I'll try to find the answer to this question during the remainder of my time here.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

PeteyToo
February 10, 2016 01:50AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 83

Awesome trip report, Lots of goot questions, Cool @#$%& ,but we all watched and learned from "The Cosby Show".
Still curious about the letter "V", in the "West Indian pronunciation"
Any update on any abnormalities? Just wondering cause with all the travel restrictions,(liquids, quantity ,etc.) have you experienced a noticeable vernacular difference to purchase Vaseline?

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 10, 2016 12:41PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 10.



I am back to the Smuggler's Cove beach. While there, I take a quick survey. There are about 70 people. Median age: 45. Race: 100% Caucasians. Women read Kindle, occasionally checking the condition of their finger nails. Finger nails are exceptionally important. When properly shaped, they elongate the fingers, thereby making a woman appear more attractive. Furthermore, carefully manicured finger nails send a powerful message to prospective mates: "I pay attention to detail, so I'll be a good attentive mother to our child. Impregnate me". Men drink beer and flip through paper magazines.

So far during the 10 days, I've seen hundreds of people on various beaches. Only one of these people was non-white. I don't know what it is. Maybe spending time on the beach is considered to be a "white" thing, like playing ice hockey or mountain skiing? Maybe West Indians (i.e. people of Afro-Caribbean descent) are under some peer pressure to not appear at these questionable places? During the debates in the USVI senate, the senators are known to ask, "Where is your blackness?" Black senators get confronted with this question when they disagree with somebody on the policy issues.

On the beach, many men have saggy man's tits. My tits are not saggy. I am bony, always have been. When people ask me about the secret about my tits, I tell them that I think deep thoughts, all the time. Thinking burns an enormous amount of calories.



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2016 01:23PM by wanderer.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 10, 2016 12:46PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Quote
PeteyToo
Awesome trip report, Lots of goot questions, Cool @#$%& ,but we all watched and learned from "The Cosby Show".
Still curious about the letter "V", in the "West Indian pronunciation"
Any update on any abnormalities?

Nope, I have not noticed anything out of the ordinary with respect to letter "V". Maybe East Ender can elaborate on his/her auditory observations.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 10, 2016 08:33PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Tropical rains are marvelous. They come out of nowhere, while the sun is still shining. The droplets are small, which makes the rain sound different, compared to the continental rain. The rain removes the heaviness built in the air, and it cleanses it, cools it, and fills it with ozone and the pungent smell. After 2 minutes, it's all over. The rain is gone.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2016 08:40PM by wanderer.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 11, 2016 02:13PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 11.

Two funny things, both climate-related:

1. My rental SUV, Suzuki Grand Vitara, has heated seats. I tested that option, it does work.
2. The reason there are only Caucasians on the beach is not because it's a "white thing" to do, as I previously hypothesized, but because it's too cold this time of the year for the locals. It's 87 degrees Fahrenheit at the moment.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 11, 2016 11:12PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

I've had enough of the D'CoalPot. This is a fine establishment, with excellent food and fine service. This is where the tourists flock, after a day on the beach, and a healthy doze of vitamin D.

Today, I feel like going authentic. The authentic place is nearby. It's a cheap-looking pub on the road. This is where the locals go. During the day, it's totally empty. After 9:30 pm, it gets filled with dominoes players. The game is played for money. The rules are simple. If you don't have the card to play, you pay $2. If you lose the game, you pay $2. If you have 4 doubles at the start of the game, you win. That's all there is.

After 4 cocktails (some kind of mixture of Coke and Rum), I join the game with the 3 locals. The rules of large numbers statistically imply that I should win about 1 in 4 games, on average. I average about 1 win in 10 games. When I lose, they say, "American money!". When I win, I say, "Caribbean money!". Through the fog of heavy alcoholic intoxication, the lighting bolt of truth hits my front lobe . I am the fish. Or, to put in other terms, "If you don't know who the sucker is at the table, you are the sucker". I certainly don't know who the sucker is. I am a blind woman playing a game against 3 gypsies. Ain't no way I am going to gain. These dudes skillfully practice their craft, effectively teaming up 3 against 1 to take the "American Money" away.

After an hour of play, I am down $80. That's when I realize that I don't have enough cash to pay for my drinks, as this place does not accept credit cards. I say to the host, "Sorry, I lost all my cash in dominoes. I'll pay you tomorrow", and leave.

This is the best day ever that I've had here, so far. I feel good. I make my money developing software for quantitative analysis of the U.S. futures market. That market is much like the Caribbean dominoes game. We are looking for fish. The fish sells low and buys high. We buy when the fish sells, and we sell when the fish buys. It's the game that benefited the smart players for the last 2,000 years, at least.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2016 11:34PM by wanderer.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 13, 2016 08:07PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 13.

Being warm at all times is a magical thing. It pacifies and relaxes the mind. Warm weather is a lullaby to the mind.

After some 10 visits to the Caribbeans over the years, I've finally figured out what's going on. When it's warm, the grave danger of freezing to death is removed. We have three primordial fears: cold, hunger, and the fear of being eaten alive. Over the last 2.8 million years, ever since the first species Homo Habilis evolved, our brains have been genetically programmed to work in a way that ensures the survival, by figuring out the various ways to overcome the immediate dangers. To this end, the invention of how to make fire was a monumental achievement. With fire, you get warm, you prepare easily digestible food, and you repel predators. That is a triple win.

In an environment where it's always warm, one third of the burden is offloaded from the brain. Being warm all the time is like feeling full (i.e. being not hungry) all the time. One third of the agony and agitation in the brain is replaced with contentment.

Sometimes the burden on the brain is just too heavy. In Europe, the highest rates of suicide are found in the notoriously cold countries: Finland, Iceland, Latvia. Which country has the lowest rate of suicide in the world? Greece.

Being in the Caribbeans is effectively giving a relief to the brain -- a relief that the brain has been begging for the last 2.8 million years.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2016 08:16PM by wanderer.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

East Ender
February 14, 2016 02:52PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 4,846

A. Tortolans tend to eat their wedge-ah-tah-bulls with great wigor.

B. When the sun is shining AND it is raining, it is said that God is beating his wife with a ham bone.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 14, 2016 04:44PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Quote
East Ender
B. When the sun is shining AND it is raining, it is said that God is beating his wife with a ham bone.

That doesn't make any sense to me. There is no word in the Bible about God's wife.

Re: One flew over the British Virgin Islands

wanderer
February 14, 2016 04:52PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 14.

A large iguana. The tail is so long that it didn't fit in the frame.

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